Consummate dilettantism!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Video Game Banning?

The U.S. is always criticized by Europeans as a terribly backward country, and yet guess which countries ban violent video games.

That's right, European ones.

The U.S., the efforts of some states notwithstanding, has pretty liberal gaming laws. The federal government is (thankfully!) reluctant to strictly regulate the video game industry. What, you might ask, is wrong in banning violent video games, or requiring companies to remove especially gruesome scenes? What is wrong with it is the same thing that is wrong with banning neo-Nazi parades; though the content is fully objectionable by almost all parties, banning it would set a dangerous precedent. Why should the government have such power? Whose responsibility is it to protect children; that of parents of that of the government? If it be that of the latter, then a precious bit of individual freedom and responsibility (for which true liberals [A.K.A. conservatives] have supposedly always stood) is forever abdicated to the government.

And that is truly objectionable.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bye Bye Obama?

I sure hope so. Abe Greenwald rounds up well-deserved criticism. This Obama fantasy-land we're living in will drop its pretenses soon, and we'll be left with only the candidate's silliness and lack of substance.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Refutation of Gun Control in 10 Seconds

(Title taken from here.)

Even if more guns mean more crime (which in itself is a highly dubitable conclusion), this is not an argument for heightened gun control. Locking up all males from the age of 16-26 would undoubtedly reduce the crime rate, but we don't do it because doing so would conflict dramatically with human freedom. So too with guns.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama's Triumph

In class today, someone spoke of Obama's lack of popularity in Texas as resulting from his blackness. Immediately and vociferously, a chorus of opinions joined against him. This would likely not have happened a year ago, much less six months ago. I suppose that's something of which Obama can be proud. If nothing else, he has effectively demolished the excuses (1) of black folk who claim such infinite discrimination as to prevent them from achieving, and (2) of white folk who perceive such intense racism on the part of lesser enlightened white folk as to prevent blacks from achieving.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grammatical Mistake in Shelley's Frankenstein?

From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:
Vegetables and bread, when they indulged in such luxuries, and even fresh water, was to be procured from the main land, which was about five miles distant.
Given that the subject is plural, shouldn't the verb be plural (were rather than was)?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Intel Lowers CPU Costs!

Click here. The consumers benefit! A triumph for the average man and for progressivism!

Wait a minute. This sentence seems a little suspicious:
In addition, the commission believes Intel offered CPUs at below-average cost.
Commission? What commission?

Hmmm. It turns out that the mighty champions of the German welfare state are endeavoring to block this move (which, as it would consequently lower computer costs, would be a boon to the average consumer), calling it an "antitrust abuse" and raiding Intel's factories. Oh no! Lower costs! Read the whole thing.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Newt Gingrich for VP!

Just a thought. If McCain wants to reconcile with old-school conservatives, Gingrich is the man to help him do so, and also the man to help him beat Hillary.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Taxpayer Subsidized Football

From the excellent Coyote Blog comes a post about Arizonan public officials eager to subsidize the Super Bowl. Here's part:
From a reader comes this story of Arizona looking to the public trough to get funds to lure another SuperBowl. I can say from experience now that Superbowl week is made up mostly of private corporate and celebrity parties that the unwashed locals like myself are either a) not allowed to attend at all or b) can attend only by ponying up $1000 or more. Not being resentful or a leftist, I couldn't really care less about the parties being near by. However, my opinion changes real fast if my tax dollars are required to pay for them:

Super Bowl organizers will try to nail down another big game for Arizona, possibly as early as 2012.

But for the state to stay competitive, taxpayers need to shoulder the majority of game costs, organizers say. And the organizers plan to lobby for legislation to accomplish that.

The weeklong celebration culminating with Sunday's Super Bowl XLII cost the local Host Committee about $17 million. The private sector, including such big contributors as the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Thunderbirds, bankrolled more than 80 percent, while state and local agencies chipped in the balance.

But with a slumping economy making fundraising a challenge, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, the Arizona Cardinals organization and Valley business leaders want see that ratio reversed, with public dollars financing the bulk of the effort.

Don't you love the last sentence? An exactly equivalent way to state this is "people have other priorities for their own money and refuse to give it up voluntarily, particularly in difficult economic times, so we need the state to take it by force."
And we wonder why the government wastes so much of our money.